Tomorrow the football season begins all over again. Here in Scotland, we hope that the season will go on to conclude at next years European Championships, held in Austria and Switzerland. Crucial fixtures in the Autumn against France (away), Ukraine (Home), Georgia (Away), and Italy (Home) will determine if we get there.
In the meantime the domestic season gets underway. After last seasons dramatic escape from relegation, the mighty St Mirren begin their last season at Love Street with a visit from Motherwell, who have provided some happy memories of late for the Saints. On top of their 3-0 defeat in the Scottish Cup last year, St Mirren were undefeated against the Steelmen last season, culminating in the 3-2 win on the penultimate day of last season which sent Dunfermline into the Scottish League.
Of last seasons squad, the biggest losses are Kirk Broadfoot, who has moved to Rangers, and top scorer John Sutton, who has gone to Wycome. After the departure of Adam and Lappin, this leaves Van Zanten and Kean as the surviving key players from the 2005/6 promotion/championship side.
Gus McPherson has not been idle in the transfer window. He has brought in 4 players, Mark Howard from Cardiff, Will Hainning from Oldham, Gary Mason from Dunfermline and, prehaps the bigest coup, Craig Dargo from Inverness. Dargo is a former Scotland under 21 player, and has scored a lot of goals with Kilmarnock and Inverness. It will be unfortunate that he will not start against Motherwell, as he is a key player.
This season, I think that we will finish just outside the top 6, maybe about 8th. Gretna will fight it out with possibly Inverness for survival. As for the championship, it will be Celtic by 5 points.
Enjoy the rollercoaster.